02 novembre 2018

On Terrorism at a Pittsburgh Synagogue

By Eboo Patel. IFor several years during the early 2000s, my father in law was a consultant on housing in Pittsburgh. He kept a small condo in the city, and my wife and I would visit for weekends. Squirrel Hill was one of the neighborhoods we enjoyed most.
          Strolling on the main street after dinner one evening, we happened across a poster for a film called Paper Clips playing at the local movie theater.   It was the story of an all-white, all-Christian school in rural Tennessee that had its students collect millions of paper clips as a way of learning about the specific horror that was the Holocaust, and reckoning with the broader poison of racism, anti-Semitism and xenophobia.
Somehow, the students arranged for a German railcar that was used to transport Jews to Auschwitz to be sent to Whitwell, Tennessee so that it could be transformed into a museum housing the collected paper clips, each one representing a departed soul. The sign at the entrance read: “We ask you to pause and reflect on the evil of intolerance and hatred.”  
I feel shaken to my core when I think of seeing that film just a few blocks from where a terrorist took the lives of people praying. The evil of intolerance and hatred haunts us still.
Today, I will say Muslim prayers for the Jewish dead, just as the Prophet Muhammad did when he witnessed the funeral of a Jew. I will line up eleven paper clips for the eleven departed souls. More...
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